As the National Transportation Safety Board investigates what caused a Dynamic Airways jet to catch fire at Fort Lauderdale International Airport, airport officials are releasing new details about the Florida taxiway blaze that left about 20 people injured.
One of the pilots on the plane following it reported that fuel was leaking from the aircraft before the fire started.
Airport officials said today there was an estimated 45 to 50 gallons of fuel leaked on the taxiway, but emphasized that no fuel leaked onto the runway.
"We're in the process of repairing the taxiway," Airport Director Kent George said today during a news conference.
George emphasized that there was "no fire in the cockpit, in the airplane itself."
"There was fire on the left wing and the number one engine," he said.
The audio of the conversation between the pilots on the ground and the control tower captured the dramatic moment when the pilot in the plane following the Dynamic Airways flight noticed the leak.
"Hey, uh, Dynamic is, out of the left engine, it looks like it's leaking a lot of -- I don't know if it's fuel, it's fluid leaking out of the live engine," the second plane's pilot told Air Traffic Control, according to audio provided by LiveATC.net.
"We copy. We’ll probably need to go back to the ramp," the Dynamic pilot replies.
Then, just a few moments later, "Engine’s on fire! Engine’s on fire!" the pilot yells.
Within six minutes, all passengers were evacuated via slides onto the taxiway.
About 21 people of the 101 on board were injured, authorities said. There were 90 passengers and a crew of 11, the airline said, also noting that the captain has 15,700 hours of flying time, which is considered experienced.
Dynamic hailed the response of its crew, saying, "The actions of the cabin crew were exemplary and according to their safety training."
The NTSB's review of the fire will take time, George said today, adding that the NTSB will be as thorough as possible.
Dynamic is a 6-year-old airline that operates six 767s. The airline said this plane, which is nearly 30 years old, was up-to-date with all maintenance requirements.
According to the FAA, the aircraft hadn't suffered any accidents or incidents prior to Thursday's fire, and according to the airline, the plane passed safety, mechanical and operation pre-flight inspections before departing the gate.
In addition to the NTSB, the FAA, Boeing, Dynamic Airways, and engine maker Pratt & Whitney are also involved in the investigation.